Children think scooters are just for fun, of course - and even parents may not know how riding a scooter can help young children develop their balance, coordination, and other gross motor skills. All of the best scooters for toddlers are engineered not only for safety but also to encourage physical development.
Many toddlers become impatient with riding in strollers during outings in the neighborhood or walks in the parks. A scooter is an excellent way to let a toddler or preschooler enjoy their independence.
Toddlers will get more exercise on a scooter than in a stroller, instilling a love of physical activity and building children’s strength and confidence.
Also called “micro scooters,” toddler scooters are designed with three wheels rather than two. This design gives the scooter greater stability while young children develop balance and coordination.
The most stable scooters have two wheels in front and one in back, and all but one of the scooters reviewed in this article follow this design.
If you're shopping for an older toddler or preschooler whose balance skills are solid, you might consider the latter model. This design is slightly less stable, making it a good choice for children who are ready to challenge their gross motor skills on a more sophisticated scooter.
Scooters are safe for toddlers, though children should always wear helmets- and, depending on the surface on which they’re riding, elbow and knee pads too.
Every micro scooter reviewed in this article is a “kick scooter,” meaning that they are powered by the child’s foot, which kicks against the ground. Scooters for the youngest kids are also designed not to make sharp turns; this feature prevents children from falling.
The scooters featured here article are all lightweight, and many can fold up for easy portability.
There's no reason not to buy a scooter for a toddler. As long as children are supervised and wearing a helmet, they're safe and a great deal of fun.
Before we break it down for you, take a look at the best features on our favorite models.
Features we love
Buy it now
Radio Flyer Ride 2
- Grows along with your child
Little Tikes Lean
- Easy to balance, as deck
Rimable Kids 3
- Has lean-to-steer mechanism,
OxGord Scooter for Kids
- Handlebars are padded
Micro Mini Original Kick Scooter
- Lean-to-steer design
Razor Jr. Lil'
- Deck is slip resistant
Now, for the nitty gritty on the best scooters, keep reading!
This model is the best scooter for toddlers who are still unsteady on their feet.
Unique among the scooters reviewed below, this model is adjustable and can be used in two entirely different modes. The riding mode is appropriate for children as young as 12 months, who can sit in the molded plastic seat and kick the ground with their feet to move forward.
When they have developed a bit more balance, toddlers can graduate to the gliding mode, in which the ride-on toy converts into a small stand-up scooter.
We found that our youngest toddlers loved both modes and even invented a third: they loved pushing the scooter around even when they weren’t riding on it!
The scooter features a storage basket in both modes, and the handlebars adjust to accommodate children of different sizes. Our kids loved using this scooter both indoors and outdoors.
If you're looking for a scooter for a child under two years old, this is the model to get. Older toddlers will enjoy it too, though children 3 and older will likely be too large to use the riding mode.
Our kids loved choosing toys to carry with them in the storage basket.
Made by the time-tested brand Little Tikes, this is a well-made product that offers a great introduction to scooter use for young toddlers.
Like other Little Tikes products, this scooter is made of nearly indestructible plastic and can handle rough treatment and heavy use.
It has a low deck and a wide base, making it easy for young children to balance while learning to ride. Its large front wheels are also sturdy.
This scooter features a back brake, which we found to be “optional” when we tested the product: our kids were happy to stop the scooter by setting their feet down and hopping off. Nevertheless, the presence of the back brake on this scooter will prepare children for more sophisticated scooters and other toys that feature back brakes.
While we loved the lean-to-steer mechanism on other models, we found it too complicated for the 2 year-olds who are this scooter’s intended users: they just couldn’t get the hand of shifting their bodies in order to turn the scooter, even though their older siblings could master the technique easily, demonstrating that the difficulty was not caused by a flaw in the scooter but by the motor skills of young toddlers.
Overall, we recommend this product highly as an introductory scooter for young toddlers.
If the child is not put off by the “toy” look, the heavy plastic construction makes this by far the most durable scooter we tested.
This is a stable, durable scooter that will grow with your child.
Its adjustable handlebars mean that children may be able to use this product for 2-3 years before they outgrow it.
This scooter’s sturdy polyurethane wheels will not scratch wooden floors, so children new to scooters can practice indoors before they head outside.
We found this scooter very easy for children 3 and up to master, even if they were new to the lean-to-steer mechanism that makes this scooter more sophisticated than many of the other models we tested. This feature means that if the child wants to turn right, he shifts his body weight to the right; this method of steering mimics the shifting of body weight that children will do when they learn to skate or ski, so this scooter is a real investment in their balance and coordination skills. Once the children master this technique - and we found they mastered it quickly - the scooter corners extremely well.
And this probably goes without saying, but what kid doesn’t enjoy a toy that lights up? If you purchase this scooter, be prepared to bundle up and head outside to give the LED lights on the wheels a proper workout!
The light-up wheels are a hit!
This model is another great choice for beginners.
Constructed of a carbon steel alloy with an aluminum frame, adjustable T-locking handlebars, and comfort grip pad, this scooter provides a smooth, comfortable ride.
Our young toddlers enjoyed this model.
We found that some of our children had trouble operating the brake at first, but they can safely and easily stop the scooter by putting one foot down, so their struggles with the brake did not stop them from enjoying the scooter - and for our older preschoolers, the brake provides good practice for the ones they’ll encounter on more sophisticated scooters later.
This model is lightweight and folds easily for travel or storage.
The adjustable handlebar means that this scooter grows with kids more than other models.
Of the kids’ scooters we tested, this model is the best scooter for toddlers who are highly active and already on their way to developing strong balance and coordination skills.
It is very low to the ground, so toddlers can start using it right away. Its high-quality wheels and flexible fiberglass reinforced deck add up to an extremely smooth, quiet ride.
This scooter’s lean-to-steer design makes it somewhat more complex than other toddler scooters, which children steer by turning the handlebars just as they would on a bike. However, do not let this feature turn you off to this product. We found that our 3 year-olds mastered the technique of leaning in the direction they want to turn easily, in an hour or less, and the scooter responds instantly to shifts in their body weight.
Now that they have mastered it, we’re delighted at the improvements in their balance and coordination - these skills will serve them in all sports, but especially in skiing, skating, biking, and other activities that require them to control their motion by shifting their weight. Of all the lean-to-steer scooters that we tested, this one was the easiest for our kids to use.
This product is appropriate for use on all hard surfaces. Its wheels do not leave marks, so children can practice riding the scooter indoors before they venture outside.
The scooter will not work on dirt paths or grass. We found that the scooter was a bit unreliable for our young children when we used it on sidewalks in our residential neighborhood, where driveways and other inclines and dips disrupted the smoothness of the ride.
However, the scooter’s handle retracts and can be transported easily in the car, so we often take it to parks and other fenced play areas with paved paths.
We recommend this product highly for anyone looking for a smooth, quick scooter for a toddler that the child will still love when she heads off to kindergarten!
The lean-to-steer design truly can’t be beat. This feature makes the scooter more fun for the children and builds budding athletes’ balance and coordination skills.
This kids’ scooter is designed for first-time riders and is a perfect choice for a young toddler.
Its deck is wide and slip-resistant, and its wheels are sturdy. These features, plus the fact that this scooter is built very low to the ground, add up to a safe and balanced ride for young children.
It's easy to transport because it is lightweight, though its handlebar does not fold up like some other models. Because of its light weight, we found that our toddlers outgrew this scooter faster than other models - sometimes as early as 3 or 4 years old.
If you have two or more children who are close in age, this quality might actually be a point in this scooter’s favor, as each child can learn to ride a scooter using this model, using it as long as 1-2 years depending on his body size and age when the scooter is purchased, and then graduate to another model while this scooter is passed along to a younger sibling.
This scooter is a great choice for a young toddler, and parents will appreciate its safety features, like its padded T-bar and extra wide deck!
The deck is wider than the other scooters we tested, and even in damp weather our kids did not slip while riding this product.
Every scooter reviewed in this article is a great product.
When you select a scooter, you should consider your child’s age and current level of gross motor skills.
If your toddler is already a budding athlete who chases after his older siblings or friends and races to the tops of climbing structures with ease, we encourage you to choose a lean-to-steer model that will challenge his motor skills to develop even more (before, of course, he or she graduates to an electric scooter or a go-kart!).
A younger or more cautious child may be happy with a simpler model.
And don’t forget that Razor and other companies make scooters for adults too - why not buy one so Mom and Dad can join the fun!
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